Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 27

AFA

CLFMI

CRAZY TIMES
TED EYSENBACH

President, CLFMI

©ISTOCK.COM/GEARSTD

I

don't know if it's the same in everyone's
business, but right now is just an unbelievably busy time for our company.
Some of it is the normal seasonal run
up to spring and the outdoor market
starting to heat up. But things seem to be a
little different. It seems as though everybody
we deal with has a sense of urgency, they
need to get everything right away and they
have a perceptible lack of patience with me
and my team.
I'm not just talking about those one-time
customers, who are not used to using our
products, not used to working with our
people, and it appears, sometimes, not used
to good customer service (that's because we
pride ourselves on our reputation as being a
company that treats its customers fairly and
respectfully, and that's all we expect of our
customers in return). But in crazy times like
these, even our long-time customers seem to
get impatient and demanding, and we rush
around trying to keep up.
I talked about this growing culture with
some of my fellow CLFMI members and
during our conversations one of CLFMI's
most experienced voices said, "Wait a minute. Haven't we been through this before?
Didn't we learn anything?"
He was right, of course. Every time the
fence market gets really moving, every time
the economy is booming, every time politicians say things like "more infrastructure"
or the media says "housing boom," we revert
back to old habits and grab what we can
while we can. Then, when the inevitable
slowdown hits, we realize we spent more
time reacting to the situation than actually
taking advantage of it.
Here's the thing: yes, during tough times
we rely heavily on the long-term relationships we've built with our customers and
suppliers to get us through. However, many
times-like right now-we're so busy filling
orders, ramping up production, trying to
compete, and trying not to lose out on that
big job of the day, that we forget that it's actually these times when we have the greatest

opportunities to build relationships for the
next downturn.
Case in point: For the last year CLFMI
has been tracking, and reacting to, the mandated upgrading of all of the electrical utility
facilities in North America. We brought in
speakers from the industry, we've done the
research project, and we are in the process
of putting together a toolkit for members to
take advantage of this unique opportunity
to open new doors in the utility market for
members' products.
Among the things that we can't provide
for members in this toolkit are the skills,
the business acumen, and the commitment
to making this opportunity one that will
solidify ongoing relationships between them
and their partners in this market. This can't
just be grabbing a one-time chance to make
sure we will see more chain link fence products going into the utility industry while it
undergoes this mandated expansion.
www.americanfenceassociation.com | 27 | May/June 2018

Of course, we know that chain link is
already the most-used product in the utility
industry for perimeter and integrated security, so we also have to make sure that this
just doesn't become a chance to upgrade
in an industry where we already have a
foothold. It has to move beyond that-it
has to be our industry creating a bond with
the utility industry so that the next time
their needs, requirements and technologies
change, chain link is their go-to product
of choice. It will be that way because we've
proven our worth in the past and, more
importantly, they trust our industry to
be their partners in protecting their assets,
their investments and the communities
they serve.
When we talk about taking advantage of
opportunities, it's not just about the sale.
Don't let crazy times blind us to the fact that
relationship building is really the business
we're all in. ■


http://www.ISTOCK.COM/GEARSTD http://www.americanfenceassociation.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fencepost - May/June 2018

Editor’s Note
Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fencelines
Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
CLFMI
Getting in the Loop
VMA
Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
New Members
Solving the Puzzle
An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Chapter News
Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Minding Your Business
Calendar
Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Intro
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover1
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover2
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 4
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 6
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 7
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 8
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 9
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 10
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 11
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 12
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Editor’s Note
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 14
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Executive Director’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 16
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - President’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 18
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fencelines
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 21
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 23
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 24
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 25
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 26
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - CLFMI
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Getting in the Loop
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 29
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 30
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 31
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 32
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - VMA
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 34
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 36
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 38
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - New Members
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Solving the Puzzle
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 41
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 43
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Chapter News
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 45
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 47
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 48
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Minding Your Business
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover4
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